The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 951 minutes
Genre: TV/Fantasy/Crime drama
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Bitsie Tulloch, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz
Directed by: Various
Music by: Richard Marvin
Written by: Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 7, 2012
Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he is descended from a long line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” protectors who are charged with keeping the balance between humanity and the creatures of myth. With newly awoken abilities to detect the evil lurking among us, Nick struggles to keep his old life separate and safe as he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries of the Grimm world.
I caught a few episodes of Grimm this past season after my brother-in-law raved about it. Inspired by the classic Grimm fairytales the series revolves around Nick Burkhardt, a Portland police detective whose world is turned upside down when he suddenly begins to notice that what appear to be average citizens are in reality disguised mythical creatures living among us. While still trying to process what he is seeing Nick’s Aunt Marie (who raised him after his parent’s death), shows up unexpectedly and is summarily attacked in front of Nick by a creature known as a reaper. She wins the battle but is wounded and winds up in the hospital where Nick finds out that she is dying of cancer. It’s then that Aunt Marie reveals that she is a Grimm and that Nick is descended from a long line of Grimm’s who are charged with keeping the balance between humanity and the plethora of “unseen” creatures that roam the earth. She explained that they are not all evil however it is there job to kill the bad ones and that she is being hunted as a result. Aunt Marie subsequently dies but leaves Nick several “necessary” items one of which is her trailer containing her stock of weapons and volumes of books detailing the past as well as valuable information on the creatures that are out there.
This is all pretty much covered in the series pilot. The show is an episodic crime/cop drama with a fantastical twist that involves the cases being associated with missing persons, deaths, ancient feuds and just plain old criminal activity involving creatures taken/derived from fairytales. There is a continuing storyline/subplot involving someone close to Nick that has a dark secret but essentially each episode involves Nick and his partner Hank trying to solve a different crime/problem which is aided by Nick’s abilities as a Grimm.
There are host of familiar characters/stories that include takes on the pied piper, Rapunzel, three little pigs, little red riding hood, morphed humanoid creatures resembling mice/rats, bears, goats, bees, birds, cats and mythical grudge carrying ogres, werewolves, fire breathers and other varieties of fang toothed denizens or lore. The German language inspired terminology/names for the creatures etc. used in the show is different. The term “Blutbad” (wolf-creature) = werewolf, Hexenbiest (witch bitch) = witch creature, Wildermann (savage man) = big foot, Jagerbar (hunter bear) = bear creature, Ziegevolk (goat folks) = goat creature, Keim (germ, spore) = potion ingredient and the like.
The pilot does a nice job setting up the plot/primary character introduction. The premise takes getting used to and the episodes can run lukewarm to warm. I found some of the storylines to be too elementary in nature while others prove more interesting. As it progressed I found myself looking forward to each installment and what was in store but part of this came along with the instant gratification associated with being able to watch it back to back as I pleased. If I had to wait each week for the next episode I am not so sure if there would have been enough initial interest, suspense and depth to keep me coming back. The good thing is that Grimm gets better as the show progresses. The special effects are about what you might expect from a TV based series like this and are fair but not wholly convincing.
The characters are simply drawn and fit well into the series construct. I am not sold on David Giuntoli as the show’s front man but like the ensemble, especially Silas Weir Mitchell who plays Eddie Monroe, the reformed Blutbad that assists Nick from the underworld’s perspective. It would be fair to say that I like Grimm. It’s different and I find the characters storyline to be good enough to hold my interest. The acting isn’t the best but there is little here that requires inspirational dramatic depth. The season successfully builds to an ending that paves the way for season two (which is set to air August 13th). I will more than likely be tuning in.
Grimm Season One comes to Blu-ray with its 22 episodes spread over five BD-50’s, with the bulk of the bonus material found on disc five. The cardboard keep case is of the foldout variety (with a corresponding slipcover) with each disc slipping into a pouch. I am not crazy about this method as it requires grasping the discs (leaving fingerprints) in order to remove them. As a bonus there are two collectible character cards included in the package.
This show contains mature themes, violence, and frightening/disturbing images.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Grimm Season One comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.
This 1.78:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound keeps pace with the video and is quite good. Dynamics are robust and highs are crisp without being strident or edgy. Dialogue is rendered with defining tonal expression and room penetrating depth through the center channel. The front soundstage is diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the entire surround platform. At times it opens up quite nicely to create an involving surround mix containing a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however it appropriately supports the source elements and provides an appreciably tight, and punchy low end.
- (HD) Deleted/Extended scenes – Select episodes (discs 1 through 5)
- (HD) Gag reel – 3 minutes
- (HD) Grimm Guide – Interactive book
- (HD) The world of Grimm – 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Grimm: Making the monsters – 6 minute featurette
- Audition tapes – 5 segments featuring members of the cast
- (HD) VFX Progressions – 2 minute feature
- (HD) Highlight reels (3 short segments) – Scares, Morphs, The language of Grimm
- My scenes bookmark feature
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Grimm Season One starts out a little slow but eventually winds up being fairly entertaining. I like the fact that it’s different and although there isn’t a deeply engrossing storyline, pulse pounding action or emphatic drama there is enough substance and likeable characters to keep interest going. Season Two kicks off on NBC on August 13th. I have set my DVR to record it and look forward to seeing what the story brings. I enjoyed its high definition audio/video presentation on Blu-ray and found the included supplemental package to be a complimentary one that fans will appreciate. If you’re already into Grimm this five disc offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a no brainer. If not and you’re curious give it a rent or check for reruns in your area.
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